A Filipino seafarer lost more than PHP600,000 to a woman he met on social media and with whom he thought he was in a relationship.

The victim, Frederick Egea, 23, met a woman on Facebook called Joana Mae Cruz in June 2017 and immediately fell in love. Egea gave in to Cruz’s demands and sent her money whenever she asked, Rappler reported.

During the course of their online relationship from June 2017 to September 2018, Egea sent more than PHP600,000 (US$11,051) to Cruz, who told him that the money was for tuition fees, gifts and personal needs.

Egea, who was working on a ship, wanted to meet Cruz in person once he docked in the Philippines.

When Egea returned home on September 5, Cruz kept making excuses to avoid meeting him, and a few days later, Egea discovered that Cruz’s Facebook profile was fake.

The real identity of Cruz was Angelica Miguel, 21, who used the photos of a certain Angelica Calanog, 20, for the fake profile. Miguel confessed to Egea, but also demanded that Egea paid her PHP26,000 to prevent “something bad” happening to Calanog.

Egea agreed to pay, but only if he personally handed the money to Miguel. When they met up at a mall on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, undercover police officers arrested Miguel. Six other alleged accomplices of Miguel were also arrested.

Miguel will be charged with robbery, swindling and identity theft.